Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Zealand First position on land sales

I've been having a bit of a tete-a-tete with new NZ First MP Tracey Martin on Facebook regarding the Crafar farm sales.  I like Tracey.  She is good value, and she will be an excellent MP.  I would gladly have her as my local MP, because she is committed, works hard and is a fierce advocate for her community.  All that is good.  It's just her party's economic policies are dreadful. 

Here's a little titbit from our FB discussion:

Me:       I've pointed this out before, but will do so again. NZ First's position is *exactly* like China's - no foreigners to own *our* land. That is consistent with communism. And while I'm on the topic of *our* land, it is not *our* land; it is land owned by the person, persons or company registered on the title. It is *their* land. We have a concept of indefeasibility of title (if you own it, it's yours unless obtained by fraud) and are looked at across the world as having the best land registration model in the world. That is good in so many ways yet NZ First policy is apparently to undermine that.

TraceyTotally agree with Nick on that one - our position around land sales is exactly the same as the Chinese in that no foreigner (so therefore only New Zealanders) can own land. And funnily enough we have made this comment several times in press releases and speeches. I am going to assume here that the confusion is coming from the difference which is that China after the Cultural Revolution made all land the property of the state - and this is where Nick goes with his comment - trying to make this into the usual freedom or government communist servitude argument that ACT uses for its fear based policies e.g. you will have no choice if we do not sell our schools and hospitals. But even right now my relatives of Chinese descent are making trips to China to reclaim their family land that was taken from them by the state - can they sell it to another nation - no they can't - do they want to? No they don't because they too know what it is like to be landless. And in a way you are also right Nick that this is not "our" land except you once again take it down to individual rights in the here and now with no vision for the future. On this land, even if our name is on the title, we are merely practicing kaitiakitanga for our future generations.

Tracey:     Just another little aside - is it ok to trade with communist but you find there political system totally abhorant - so is that values when values suit you?


Me:          Do you go to Fiji for your holidays? Have you bought a flat screen TV from Harvey Norman, but probably made in Vietnam? For that matter, how about Nike or Adidas running/training shoes made in China? Have you had a taxi ride in Auckland driven by an Iraqi (pre Saddam). Have you travelled to Vietnam? North Korea? China?

Just trying to establish consistencies.

 Discuss.   

15 comments:

Lou Taylor said...

The guts if the matter is that we have consumed and spent our way to debt, ably assisted by governments intent on increasing the power of the state. The Chinese have worked their way to wealth, ably assisted by a government intent on increasing the power of the state.

We are just different sides of the same coin. Last century we were heads up - this century the Chinese will be heads up.

The Veteran said...

How times change ... now Winston First is backing that 'nice' Mr Fay in his attempt to gouge out $40m from the receivers of Crafer farms.

The man has so many positions he makes the Kama Sutra look tame.

Nick K said...

Yes Lou. Except that because we are now so indebted, that makes us much more reliant on the government to "look after us".

China has a rapidly growing middle class who will be much better able to care for themselves in tne next 50yrs or so; we don't.

Lou Taylor said...

If our destiny as a country is solely dependent on the whim of some self serving people, only intent on getting through the next three year unscathed so they can get voted in again, then we are probably going to get the future we deserve.

Above all, what we now lack as a society is discipline. Discipline to be personally responsible for our day to day actions. Sure there are many out there who do this but there are increasing numbers who don't care.

They want a life handed to them on a plate. In a few years that plate will be a rice bowl.

Paulus said...

I am still waiting for Shearer/Peters/Norman/Harawira to tell us under what part of the OIC laws that this could have been declined ?
If you don't like it change the law through Parliament.

Lou Taylor said...

You are right Nick,
Paying the interest on the loans will preoccupy our government for decades, if in fact we can even stay on top of it.
As their only source of income is us I guess we will be increasingly taxed, giving us even less capital to invest in profit making businesses like our farms.

Anonymous said...

At the pointy end its not your land. That requires an alloidial title. Fee simple is a lease. I think its not a just way of doing it but I don't make the rules.

3:16

The Veteran said...

Lou ... what does the selling of the Crafer farms have to do with the paying off the public debt?

Surely it is the Receivers job to get the best possible return on the properties subject only to OIC (and Government) approval.

The altn is to let Fay and his mates pick it up for $40m less which doesn't make economic sense.

Look, I own a bit of an Aust farm. Don't see 'them' getting too hot under the collar over that.

Seems xnophobia rules ok.

p.s. Nick ... if Tracey M is Gods gift to the NZ Parliament then how come she is part of Winston First.
Remind me where she came in the Rodney race.

Nick K said...

Anon - it is only a lease if a fee simple tenure cannot be continued through lineage - then it reverts to the Crown. I don't know the percentage of land ownership that this happens to, but I'm guessing less than 1%. Most land can be passed down through wills or joint ownership just reverts to the survivor anyway. But yes, at the pointy end it is owned by the Crown, technically i guess you're right.

Vet, I'm not saying she is God's gift, I just think she will be a good MP and certainly a lot better than some on the Labour team.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Nick, I think the real point is that ALL titles, fee simple, leasehold, pastoral lease, conditional purchase lease (Western Australia) are held at the pleasure of the Crown. There is no such thing as unfettered ownership where one can hang on to a piece of land forever, no matter what.

The 'ownership' of leasehold land in China is just as much a valuable asset as is the ownership of freehold land in NZ. No doubt Fonterra will be able to sell their leasehold land in China to another party, so what's the real difference? Very little I think.

I don't think I've ever seen so much crap talked as there has been by the Xenos about how 'you can't buy land in China.'

Psycho Milt said...

NZ First's position is *exactly* like China's - no foreigners to own *our* land. That is consistent with communism.

Well, yes, but it's also consistent with a lot of societies that aren't communist. It's like saying having a policy that rape is illegal is "consistent with communism."

And while I'm on the topic of *our* land, it is not *our* land; it is land owned by the person, persons or company registered on the title. It is *their* land.

As others have pointed out, it's only the person's land to the extent their society (in the form of its representatives passing legislation) grants. That grant may or may not include the right to sell to foreigners, depending on the legislation.

This "xenophobia" spin from the 9th floor that you're all assiduously peddling ignores an unusually large fully grown elephant in the room: citizens of a totalitarian dictatorship can't be assumed to be acting independently of their govt, and in fact should be assumed to be acting on behalf of their govt until proved otherwise. This is what makes people dubious about Chinese ownership of NZ land, not some yellow peril bullshit.

In this particular case, yes the Chinese are quite possibly the lesser of two evils, thanks to the receivers' determination to sell the whole lot as one package. But in general terms, foreign investors will always be able to outbid locals for any piece of land that's offered - that may be great for people making a living from capital gains, eg farmers, but not great for the national interest, which is what the sad sacks of shit occupying the govt benches are supposed to keep an eye on.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Correction

The Condition Purchase title refered to earlier is not a lease but a form of freehold.

"Generally a settler would be granted a free homestead block of 160 acres plus a conditional purchase block to make a total of 1,000 acres (445.5 hectares). The majority of early Koorda residents took up land on this basis, which required them to reside on their properties, install fences and make other improvements."

In the 1960s and perhaps to this day West Australians could obtain a CPblock by way of ballot. This was deemed as good as winning Lotto. The purchasor needed to have either basic farm plant - tractor, plough, seeder, harvester or cash on hand for same. The blocks were mainly in the South East of the state and were what is knowm as Mallee country, usually 4,000 acres. The conditions of purchase, as I remember them, were that at least one third of the block had to be cleared, watered and fenced within three years. The price was something like $5.00 per acre with low interest long term gummint loan finance provided.

Once the conditions had been met the owner could then sell on the open market - usually at well over $100 per acre.

pdm said...

Nick taking a different view - will Tracey be submerged by having to follow Winston's directives which mean the party is all about him and the followers eventually give up and disappear. Especially those with independent thoughts and opinions which Tracey appears to have.

Nick K said...

This "xenophobia" spin from the 9th floor that you're all assiduously peddling ignores an unusually large fully grown elephant in the room: citizens of a totalitarian dictatorship can't be assumed to be acting independently of their govt, and in fact should be assumed to be acting on behalf of their govt until proved otherwise. This is what makes people dubious about Chinese ownership of NZ land, not some yellow peril bullshit.

Accepted.

@pdm - who knows what will happen in the NZF caucus. I suspect there will be leadership issues because Winston is nearing 70. That might mean a change of tack, necessarily. I don't think Tracey would want to be leader, but I'm sure Andrew Williams has an erection just thinking of it.

Lou Taylor said...

Vet, my point was that this century will be about wealth transfer to Asia and that will include many of our assets as they will simply outbid us..
We have got so used to playing the short game in business that when serious long term players like the Chinese come along then we won't stand a chance.
With Crafar- he was only half a season away from a $7/kg payout when the banks pulled the plug on him, after lending to him at will.
If any fingers should be pointed in all of this it should be at the gutless pricks in the banks who played the short game.